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  Movie Review for Travellers & Magicians

Movie Review for
Travellers & Magicians



Travellers & Magicians
Also known as:

52 Reviews total.

Release date: 2005
Run length: Unknown.
Categories:

Summary: Writer-director Khyentse Norbu, who scored an international hit with the 1999 drama THE CUP (PHORPA), about Tibetan refugees obsessed with watching the World Cup soccer finals, returns to his homeland to make the remarkably charming and engaging TRAVELLERS & MAGICIANS, the first feature-length film to be made completely within the Kingdom of Bhutan. Norbu, who worked with Bernardo Bertolucci on 1997's LITTLE BUDDHA, is believed to be His Eminence Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, an incarnate lama, and he infuses TRAVELLERS & MAGICIANS with a thoughtful and contemplative Buddhist mind-set. Tshewang Dendup stars as Dondup, a young, impatient cigarette smoker from the city who has stopped by the small, remote village of Chendebji on his way to America, where he can't wait to make lots of money. But as he sets out on his long journey, he misses his bus and must try to hitch a ride down the mountain on the nearly deserted roads. He is soon joined by an old apple picker (Ap Dochu), a monk who plays the dramyin (Sonam Kinga), a rice-paper maker (Dasho Adab Sangye), and the rice-paper maker's college-age daughter (Sonam Lhamo). As they wait for rides, the monk begins relating a story about a magic student, Tashi (Lhakpa Dorji), who doesn't believe in magic and would rather start making money in the corporate world. But his brother, Karma (Namgay Dorjee), who does believe, concocts a plan that soon has Tashi stranded in the middle of the forest with a bitter old man (Gomchen Penjore) and his beautiful, much-younger wife, Deki (Deki Yangzom). Norbu magnificently intertwines the two stories, creating an enchanting, unforgettable film that is filled with heart, hope, and humor.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians

By
Marc Savlov of Austin Chronicle (7/0)
            The Himalayan scenery, majestic mountains, and verdant valleys are as breathtaking and well-shot ...

By
Jules Brenner of Cinema Signals (7/0)
            Norbu never allows anything to stray beyond the lukewarm on his pleasant highway idyll. Strong e...

By
Mark Palermo of Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia) (7/0)
            The exotic landscapes combine with subtle realizations for a moving human work.

By
Harvey S. Karten of Compuserve (7/0)
            Yesterday's dreams, today's heartache--that's the meaning of this involving story within a story,...

By
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly (7/0)
            We can glory, for an hour or two, in the splendors of a life based on renunciation -- and then re...

By
Eric D. Snider of EricDSnider.com (7/0)
            It will probably not be long remembered, but it charms and entertains in the moment, at least.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Phil Hall of Film Threat (7/0)
            Let's welcome Bhutan to the global cinema!

By
MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher (7/0)
            What an curious, beautiful film!

By
Liz Braun of Jam! Movies (7/0)
            A treat to look at.

By
Mark R. Leeper of rec.arts.movies.reviews (7/0)
            The film is not profound and the resolution not entirely satisfying, but it a pleasant enough exp...

By
Robin Clifford of Reeling Reviews (7/0)
            That [director] Norbu elicits believable and fully developed characters out of his cast of non-ac...

By
Jean Lowerison of San Diego Metropolitan (7/0)
            A story told slowly, lovingly, with plenty of camera time devoted to that gorgeous countryside.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Carla Meyer of San Francisco Chronicle (7/0)
            Visually accomplished and loads of fun.

By
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality and Practice (7/0)
            An extraordinary Buddhist road movie about the dangers and unhappiness that comes in our attempts...

By
Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide's Movie Guide (7/0)
            Offbeat and ravishingly beautiful.

By
Desson Thomson of Washington Post (7/0)
            To watch this movie is to be moved not only by an affecting, warmly spirited yarn, but also by th...

By
Dave Kehr of New York Times (3/5) Login Required (Login Required)
            A pleasant, colorful travelogue directed by the Bhutanese lama Khyentse Norbu.

By
Phil Villarreal of Arizona Daily Star (3/4) No reference
            It's a disappointment to report that Bhutanese filmdom is not off to a good start.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Bob Townsend of Atlanta Journal-Constitution (3/4) No reference
            A colorful and witty work that doesn't preach so much as gently nudge us to consider the wonders ...

By
Wade Major of Boxoffice Magazine (3/4) No reference
            The juxtaposition of the two stories isn't anything particularly new -- numerous films have attem...

By
Philip Wuntch of Dallas Morning News (3/4) No reference
            It's a leisurely yet resonant film that reinforces the power of cinematic storytelling.

By
Jeff Vice of Deseret News, Salt Lake City (3/4) No reference
            Uses a folktale or parable to impart its message about the simple pleasures in life, and it's the...

By
Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central (3/4) No reference
            What salvages the film is the powerful simplicity of its faith.

By
Eric Monder of Film Journal International (3/4) No reference
            There is much more to Travellers & Magicians than a mere travelogue, and the journey is well wort...

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Christopher Null of filmcritic.com (3/4) No reference
            America may have many things to offer, but it doesnít have scenery like this

By
Edward Havens of FilmJerk.com (3/4) No reference
            An enchanted journey well worth taking.

By
Donald Munro of Fresno Bee (3/4) No reference
            With its spiritual underpinnings and scenic splendor, the film casts a distinctive top-of-the-wor...

By
Rick Groen of Globe and Mail (3/4) No reference
            With its intricate design, sly humour and timely theme, Travellers and Magicians is a lot more th...

By
Peter Canavese of Groucho Reviews (3/4) No reference
            A dual story of accidental spiritual journeys [that] illuminates storytelling's scriptural capaci...

By
Bruce Westbrook of Houston Chronicle (6/1) No reference
            Refreshingly quiet and thoughtful.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Robert W. Butler of Kansas City Star (3/4) No reference
            Pleasant and often beautiful.

By
Chuck Wilson of L.A. Weekly (3/4) No reference
            Norbu (The Cup) shifts smoothly between a kind of Buddhist The Postman Always Rings Twice and dep...

By
Bob Strauss of Los Angeles Daily News (3/4) No reference
            Acknowledge the timeless, universal human question of whether to stay in the dull, safe place you...

By
Kevin Thomas of Los Angeles Times (3/4) No reference
            A film so enchanting one hates to see it come to an end.

By
Colin Covert of Minneapolis Star Tribune (3/4) No reference
            Gloriously photographed, captivatingly acted and percolating with surprises.

By
Jami Bernard of New York Daily News (3/4) No reference
            Writer-director Khyentse Norbu sees paradise not as the seat of perfection, but as the warmth of ...

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
V.A. Musetto of New York Post (3/4) No reference
            Delightful performances are delivered by all in this ingenious work of cinema that is worth seein...

By
Gene Seymour of Newsday (3/4) No reference
            The scenery is breathtaking, the amateur cast is appealing, and the road trip, though as shaggy a...

By
M.E. Russell of Oregonian (3/4) No reference
            The film works a slow magic.

By
Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel (3/4) No reference
            Pretty enough, but one kind of hopes for a little magic in a movie with "magicians" in its title.

By
Steve Schneider of Orlando Weekly (3/4) No reference
            A gentle challenge to the all-American delusion that every citizen of a foreign land would be bet...

By
Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews (3/4) No reference
            All Norbu's posturing for a greater spiritual meaning never materialized, though it still looms a...

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Jeanne Aufmuth of Palo Alto Weekly (3/4) No reference
            Khyentse Norbu traces Dondupís path to enlightenment with mixed results that are nonetheless cult...

By
Steven Rea of Philadelphia Inquirer (3/4) No reference
            It's transporting, it's magical.

By
Timothy Knight of Reel.com (3/4) No reference
            Profound and gently funny.

By
Sean Means of Salt Lake Tribune (3/4) No reference
            There may be moments where the audience feels as restless as Dondup, eager to get a move on, but ...

By
John Hartl of Seattle Times (3/4) No reference
            Dondup is the make-or-break role here, and he nails it.

By
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) of St. Paul Pioneer Press (3/4) No reference
            So pretty you want to put it on your wall.

                         Reviews of Travellers & Magicians
By
Angela Baldassarre of Sympatico.ca (3/4) No reference
             An unusual road movie featuring gorgeous atmospherics, the film is memorable indeed.

By
Geoff Pevere of Toronto Star (3/4) No reference
            Lovely, obvious and strangely unconvincing.

By
David Stratton of Variety (3/4) No reference
            Pic has been adeptly packaged, with every advantage taken to show off the spectacular locations t...

By
Laura Sinagra of Village Voice (3/4) No reference
            As the journey progresses, the director conjures comedic, at times uniquely Buddhist tensions.

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